Rockfall destroys car, forces closure of Mount Rainier's Westside Road

Tacoma News TribuneMay 16, 2014 

A rockfall totaled a car and has closed Westside Road at Mount Rainier National Park.

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Rockfall destroyed a parked car and forced the closure of Westside Road in Mount Rainier National, the park announced Friday. Several truck-sized boulders fell on the road sometime before May 14, according to statement released by the park.

A crew found the rockfall on May 14 while returning from a multi-night monitoring trip. The rockfall is in the Dry Creek public parking area. A vehicle parked in the areas was totaled by the boulder that struck the driver’s side. The vehicle was unoccupied and nobody was in the area to witness the rockfall.

One boulder left a crater eight feet in diameter and three feet deep. A gate in the area was also damaged.

The rocks fell from Mount Wow, which rises above the road.

“The park’s geomorphologist and his crew are assessing the cause and the likelihood of additional rockfall in the area,” read a statement released by the park. “Once it can be ascertained that park crews can safely enter the area to work, they will remove the boulders, repair the road and gate prior to reopening the road back up to the public.”

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